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  • Uploaded on \nLearn how to increase traffic, leads and sales by reaching more than 11 million people on Pinterest. \n\nWhat appears to be one of the fastest-growing social media sites ever has become a huge traffic referral for all businesses. An increasing number of companies are leveraging the platform to reach a new audience, increase visits to their websites, and generate leads or retail sales. And guess what? It\'s working. \nDownload this free, 43-page ebook and learn: \n• How Pinterest works and top reasons you should be using it \n• How to create a Pinterest account and grow followers \n• How B2B companies use Pinterest for lead generation \n• How eCommerce companies use Pinterest to increase retail sales \n• Examples of how real-life businesses leverage Pinterest for growth.

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how to use pinterest for business


A Guide for using



Drive Traffic & Leads to

Your Website with Pinterest

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A Publication of


how to use pinterest for business


HoW To use PinTeresT

for business

edited by Magdalena Georgieva

Maggie Georgieva is an inbound marketing

manager at Hubspot responsible for creating

new offers, including ebooks and webinars.

she has previously helped with Hubspot’s

email marketing program and the company’s

landing page creation and optimization.

Maggie is a prolific marketing blogger

and has also written for publications like


@mgIEva and The St. Petersburg


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WHAT PinTeresT is & WHY iT MATTers


HoW To creATe A PinTeresT AccounT & GeT foLLoWers


HoW To use PinTeresT for MArkeTinG /21

exAMPLes of brAnDs on PinTeresT


concLusion & ADDiTionAL resources /42

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IS & why IT

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how to use pinterest for business


over the past few months, you may have heard some chatter about a brand new social network

Pinterest is growing in popularity

as the hottest new social network.

called Pinterest. According to compete, unique visitors to increased by 155% just

Unique Visitors

in one month, from December 2011 to January 2012.


Pinterest unique Visitors

source: compete



















Unique Visitors

in December 2011, Pinterest made Hitwise’s list of the top ten social networks, sitting at #5

and beating out big names like Linkedin and Google+. As with any hot new social network that

comes onto the scene, marketers are chiming in with, “can i use it for marketing?” Absolutely,

and this ebook will show you how. (be sure to follow Hubspot’s pins for other marketing tips.)

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HoW Does iT Work?

Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new

interests by posting, also known as ‘pinning,’ images or videos to their own or others’ pinboards

(i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme). users can either upload images from

their computer or pin things they find on the web using the Pinterest bookmarklet, Pin it button,

an image added to


A Pin


a set of theme-based pins

the act of visually

sharing content


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reposting somebody else’s pin

Pin iT


button that can be placed on websites

to facilitate sharing on Pinterest. Pins

added using the Pin it button link back

to the site they came from.

the person who does the sharing


one can browse through the items other users have pinned and ‘like,” “repin” or “comment” on

them. As with most other social networks, members are encouraged to interact with the content

by reposting it, sharing others’ pins on facebook and Twitter or via email, and even embedding

individual pins on their website or blog.

using a visual emphasis, the social network is very much focused on the concept of a person’s

lifestyle, enabling you to share your interests and preferences with others and discover those

of like-minded people. As Pinterest put it, this is a social network meant to “connect everyone in

the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”

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WHY Does




Any business that relies on driving a high-volume of website traffic to increase sales, should

consider joining Pinterest. in fact, early research indicates that Pinterest is more effective at

driving traffic compared to other social media sites, even facebook.

in october, the website of Time inc.’s real simple magazine got more traffic

from Pinterest than facebook. (source)

eye glass retailer Warbly Parker reports that 11% of their social traffic is

coming from Pinterest compared to 18% from Twitter. (source)

After blogger kate bryan started pinning her work, she has had more than

10 million page views and has attracted 16,000 blog subscribers. “My top 10

traffic referring urLs are all Pinterest,” says kate. (source)

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in february 2012 Pinterest has been driving more referrals to Hubspot’s blog than Google+. This

insight proves that Pinterest presents a serious challenge to other social media channels and

offers a competitive advantage to businesses that have started leveraging its potential.



Visits to,

feb. 1-14, 2012








Using HubSpot’a marketing analytics, we are able to compare the two sources and how they impact

our business goals.

Any business that relies on

driving a high-volume of website

traffic to increase sales, should

consider joining Pinterest.

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if you are using the “Pin it” button on your pages, every single one of your pins will include a

link back to the source. That is why Hubspot’s blog has accumulated more than 640 links from

Pinterest in just two weeks. However, these are no-follow links and cannot be used to directly

impact your seo strategy. Yet, they still provide marketing value because they allow pinners to

encounter your content and visit your pages in just one click.

This is a screenshot

of HubSpot’s Link

Grader tool, which

is part of our all-

in-one marketing

software. Learn

more about





Lastly, Pinterest will soon start contributing to lead generation. so far, Hubspot has generated

a few leads from the new social network and we’ll keep a close eye on how that number


This is a screenshot

of HubSpot’s

Sources tool, which

is part of our all-

in-one marketing

software. Learn

more about



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sociAL sHArinG

Pinterest enables users to log in using their Twitter or facebook profiles, connectivity that is

critical for social media success. These sites can’t get away with being a silo, and Pinterest has

recognized that out of the gate.

The site now connects with facebook, according to a recent open Graph announcement,

enabling users to automatically post new pins to their facebook feed for others to see. This

means more eyes from other channels get access to your pictures. However, remember that

you still cannot connect Pinterest to your facebook business page.

When members are browsing through pins, they will also have the ability to share posts through

facebook, Twitter or email. This feature is great to boost social sharing and get your evangelists

to spread the word about your brand.

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HoW Does

MAke MoneY?

What’s particularly fascinating about Pinterest is that while in beta, it is already making money.

That’s especially surprising for a social networking site. What’s even more interesting is that the

way it’s monetizing is not based on advertising or subscriptions.

if your website is using an affiliate program, you should take note, because that is how Pinterest

is making its dough: by taking a cut of your sales from pinned traffic. Alexis Madrigal, a senior

editor at The Atlantic, explains:

They partnered with a firm called skimLinks, which

automatically scans through every link posted on the site to

see if it goes to a retail site with an affiliate program. if it finds

that kind of link, it secretly adds an affiliate code that ensures

Pinterest will make some cash from sales that derive from that


This in of itself might not be bad practice, but the fact that Pinterest hasn’t disclosed this

information outright definitely is. Many bloggers and marketers out there are complaining about

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Surprisingly enough, user

access to Pinterest still operates

under an invitation-only basis.

surprisingly enough, user access to Pinterest still operates under an invitation-only basis. That

being said, you can request an invitation, and Pinterest doesn’t exactly seem to be very stingy

about granting requests. Visit, click “request an invite,” and enter your email

address to be notified when you have access to create your account. or you can ask a friend

who already has a Pinterest account to invite you, a much quicker way to gain access than

waiting for Pinterest to grant your request

be sure to register your account with the same email address you use for your business’ Twitter

account so you can easily share your new pins through your Twitter account, too. once you

receive an invitation to sign up for Pinterest, you’ll want to sign up through the Twitter option,

not the facebook option. This will enable you to tie your Pinterest account to your business’

Twitter account, not your personal facebook profile. currently, Pinterest doesn’t offer a

connection to facebook business pages.

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once your account is activated, optimize your Pinterest profile under the settings tab. choose

your company name as your username and complete your profile information, including a

company description, logo, and a link to your website.







be sure you keep “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines” checked to off, so your

profile can get indexed in search.

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PinTeresT eTiqueTTe

As with any site that is built around content curation, ‘pinners’ (Pinterest users) must be

especially cognizant of citing the sources of their individual pins. And while Pinterest makes no

direct statement that marketers cannot use the social network for promotional purposes, the

site does discourage blatant self-promotion:


“Pinterest is designed to curate and share things

you love. if there is a photo or project you’re proud

of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest

purely as a tool for self-promotion.”

coupled with Pinterest’s lifestyle vision, this should encourage marketers to find creative ways

to promote their brand on the network and truly jive with its vision and user base. in other words,

businesses should use the social network to showcase the lifestyle their brand promotes. if

you’re a shoe vendor, a pinboard of the shoes you sell won’t cut it. A pinboard of a few of your

shoes interspersed with images of places those shoes could take you, however, is the direction

you should be thinking. AArP’s Pinterest account features a pinboard called “quotes to Live

by,” which is a great example of a business using Pinterest to promote the lifestyle of its brand.

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HoW To buiLD Your

PinTeresT foLLoWinG

once you get started, you’ll want to create a few

pinboards before you start trying to build your

Pinterest following. Just like any social network,

building reach via a follower base is key to long-

term sustainability for that network as a traffic

and lead source.

This way, new followers will have a reason to follow your pins; it’s the same reason why you

would populate a brand new blog with a few posts before you start promoting it.

However, Pinterest functions a little differently than the typical” follower world” we know in

Twitter, facebook and Linkedin. for example, on Pinterest, there are two ‘follower options’ a

user can take when someone likes a piece of content he or she found. A person can follow a

specific board by a Pinterest user or a user’s account. What’s the difference?

When following a board you only will be notified (via your stream) when a user pins a new

piece of content to that board. When following a user, you will be notified every time a user

pins content to any of his or her boards. Due to these differences a Pinterest user’s board

might have more followers than the user herself! so how can you create a strategy to increase

followers at both the account and board level?

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by taking this approach, you

increase the chances of your

board attracting followers who are

create resourceful boards based

on a few core keywords that you

already use in your seo strategy.

committing to create the best

board on a topic means being ready


The fastest way to jumpstart your

it through other platforms. Add

website. Promote your presence on

networks, such as facebook, Linkedin,

launching a Pinterest contest and

passionate about a specific topic.


Pinterest presence is by promoting

the Pinterest follow button to your

Pinterest through your other social

Google+, and Twitter. consider

write a blog post to promote it.

to promote other users’ pins to

ENgagE wITh

start following users you think

Like and comment on otheir

interacting with his or her content,

account and choose to follow


would want to follow you back.

pins. When someone sees you

they might check out your

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Get your creative juices flowing

with this list of ideas for using

Pinterest for marketing.

As with any other social network, Pinterest offers a range of activities you can initiate to market

your company to a new audience. The goal here is to gain brand recognition, drive traffic to your

website and be successful at converting the new visits into leads. Let’s get your creative juices

flowing with this list of ideas for using Pinterest as part of your social media marketing mix.

feATure VisuAL conTenT

Pinterest is a visual social

network, so you will need to

create a pinboard that highlights

some of your best visual content.

A lot of big brands are taking notice of the power of online visual

content for marketing and the emotions images elicit in readers.

instagram is one platform that has contributed to this movement

and enabled real businesses to leverage photos as a an inbound

marketing mechanism.

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The biggest challenge for b2b companies

wanting to use Pinterest as a marketing channel

is a lack of visual content. by nature, many b2b

GreAT for


companies are selling a product or service in an

industry that most likely isn’t visual. Here are some

ideas of visual content you can post:

vISUal CONTENT yOU alREady havE

someone at your last company mixer must have grabbed a few photos, right?

if so, make a board to showcase your company’s culture and pin them. Have

executive headshots? create an “executive management” board and include

a bio for each person.


start using clear, beautiful images in your blog articles with the point of

pinning them to your pinboards moving forward. You should be using images

in your blog articles anyway! Pin visuals that best highlights your written



infographics are all the rage right now, and they are doing very well on

Pinterest. if you have any industry data that you can visualize, do so before

someone beats you to it.

You can also pin simple data charts that you can build in excel. Make sure to

have a clear headline in the image so people know what they are looking at!

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Has your company released an ebook or a white paper recently? Take a

screenshot of it and add it to a board that’s a collection of papers. Do the

same if someone from your team has authored an industry book. This will

help you establish your thought leadership on Pinterest.


Promoting your happy customers is a great way to create a positive sentiment

around your brand. encourage your customers to send you photos (or take

photos of them at your next event.) create a board of their smiling faces –

perhaps using your product or service!

creATe A user-GenerATeD PinboArD

by enabling other users to contribute their own pins to your pinboards, you

open up a great opportunity to involve fans and customers in your marketing.

Pick out a few of your top evangelists or customers, and create a board

dedicated to their pins.

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Ask the customer to pin images that showcase the lifestyle they enjoy because of your brand.

This is a great way to leverage customer testimonials in a unique and visual way. clothing

retailer Modcloth uses this tactic in its “Guest Pinner Gallery.”

HosT A conTesT

several brands have already started launching contests using Pinterest.

before you jump in, consult Pinterest’s terms of use to make sure the contest

you’re holding doesn’t infringe upon its guidelines.

Hold a contest that asks users to create a pinboard on their own account to

demonstrate what they love about your brand, products, or services. if you’re

that shoe vendor we mentioned before, you might ask customers to create

a pinboard that shows pins of them doing fun and awesome things while

wearing your shoes. Ask them to send you a link to their pinboard so you can

evaluate entrants, and the coolest board wins a prize!

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even better -- you can also re-pin the top boards to your own Pinterest page and ask followers

to vote on the boards to select the winner. This is exactly what High Point Market did in its

october Pinterest campaign to promote High Point Market Week, during which it recruited

fashion home trendsetters to showcase their favorite products and trends.

ADD THe Pin-iT buTTon To Your WebsiTe

Make it super easy for website visitors to share

your visual content or images on Pinterest by

adding a “Pin it” button to your site. Just like other

social media sharing buttons, this will help to

expose your brand to a new audience.

MeAsure iMPAcT

At the end of the day, what’s going to matter most is

how much traffic, leads, and customers you generate

via a specific source. As you start pinning images to

Pinterest and add more images over time, how is your

traffic changing?

is there a specific image type or topic that sends more traffic than others? use your

analytics tools to understand what images work and what don’t.

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GATHer insiGHT inTo Your buYer PersonAs

use Pinterest as a tool for understanding the interests and needs of your ideal

customers. View pinboards of your customers to aid in your understanding of

who your customers are and what they’re interested in.

if you have an integrated marketing software that tracks which people got to

your website through Pinterest and follows them through the buying cycle,

you can spot trends in their behavior and find ways to nurture such leads more

successfully. for instance, Hubspot connects referrals to lead data and can

tell you what offer pinners converted on. from here, you can email your brand

new leads and push them down the sales funnel with a custom message.

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sTAnD ouT As An inDusTrY THouGHT LeADer

become the go-to Pinterest account for pins about a certain subject or topic

relating to your industry. for example, because Hubspot is a marketing

software company, we could create a pinboard that features awesome visual

examples of great online marketing. or if you’re a paper company, you could

create a pinboard that features really awesome origami paper creations from

around the web.

Minted is a great, real-life example of a paper company that leverages this

tactic by creating themed pinboards that show unique ways to use paper,

mixed in with other related lifestyle photos, such as in its “Trick or Treat”

Halloween board:

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ADD Links in THe DescriPTions of Your Pins

Whenever possible, include links back to your website and landing pages

in your pins to drive traffic back to your website. keep track of referral traffic

and leads generated from Pinterest. such insights will inform you about how

useful this platform is in comparison to your other efforts. The screenshot

below is an example of the leads Hubspot has generated through Pinterest in

two weeks. We get these insights thanks to our powerful marketing analytics.

To increase the likelihood of driving more traffic to your website, add a link

back to the page on your website where that image lives for every pin. if you

are uploading a photo instead of pinning something live on your website,

select a link that makes sense and include that in the pin description.

The combined impact from each pin’s clicks and re-pins will give you a big

advantage. for example, when reviewing two weeks of Hubspot’s traffic

data, we found a single pin only sent a handful of visitors to

However, all pins combined sent a substantial number of visitors to Hubspot.

com in that same time period.

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This phenomenon gives you good reason to have boards with many pins. Also consider adding

more and more pins to your boards over time as you promote new visual content by your


creATe A ViDeo GALLerY

Pinners aren’t only limited to pinning images;

they can pin videos, too! create a pinboard of

some of the interesting videos your business

produces interspersed with relevant images.

Do executives in your business do a lot of speaking at industry conferences

and events? create a pinboard that features videos of your speakers.

Pinterest’s homepage has a separate tab for videos, so you will get even

more exposure by being featured in that category Just don’t forget to include

a call-to-action within the video itself. Tell your viewers what you want them

to do next to further engage with your company.

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use HAsHTAGs

Just like Twitter and Google+, Pinterest

supports the usage of hashtags. users

can use hashtags to tag their pins and

make their content more search-friendly.

Promoting a new campaign of some

sort? create a pinboard around it, and

tag it with a hashtag you’re also using

on Twitter and Google+ to leverage an

integrated, cross-channel campaign.

club Monaco leverages its Pinterest

account for this very purpose, using the

#cultureclub hashtag and pinboard to

promote a section of its website called

culture club.

feATure offLine eVenTs

create a pinboard that features the best

GreAT for


photos and video footage of the annual

event you host to help you generate buzz

and promote the next one. for instance, at

Hubspot we have created a “behind The

scenes” board that features a lot of pictures

from events that we have hosted.

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sHoWcAse Your business’ PersonALiTY

As we’ve mentioned, Pinterest has a heavy lifestyle focus, so what better

opportunity is there to give people a peek into the personality of your brand?

create a pinboard that showcases your employees and life around the office

-- show them working together, show them making your products/services,

and show some of the fun activities your business participates in, such as

company outings, parties, award ceremonies, volunteer days, etc.

Letting people in behind the scenes will make your brand relatable,

interesting, and humanized. The Today show, for example, uses one of its

pinboards called “Anchor Antics” to reveal the personalities of its stars.

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The brands that have been

most successful are getting in

on the pinning themselves.

Data from Monetate shows that referral


traffic from Pinterest to the websites of five


specialty apparel retailers jumped 389%

from July to December 2011. based on this



data, it’s not surprising that many businesses


early adopters have been lifestyle brands


like home goods retailer West elm and real

simple Magazine.







Data: Monetate

However, tech brands like Mashable and The next Web, as well as design network behance

have quickly seen the benefits, too. for these brands, Pinterest’s knack for allowing an

interesting, visual way of categorizing information is likely the draw. so whether your brand

is based on fashion or you’re just trying to show your followers what your brand is all about,

Pinterest offers a great medium to connect with your audience. The brands that have been

most successful aren’t just enabling users to “pin” their content; rather, they’re getting in on the

pinning themselves.

While Pinterest is still very young and its true roi remains to be seen, here are seven examples

of brands who are already using Pinterest the right way: to engage fans in a meaningful way

that gets them to react, share, and even convert.

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You may wonder why anyone would want to follow a Greek yogurt brand on Pinterest, but like

facebook and Twitter, it’s all about the content you share, not necessarily what you sell.

WHAT THeY’re DoinG riGHT:

chobani’s Pinterest account doesn’t just feature its different yogurt types, but it also shares

recipes of how users can use its products differently. chobani also has a featured board called

“nothing but Good,” the company’s tagline, which only showcases fun and funny pictures that

go along with its brand image; there’s no yogurt to be seen. in this way, chobani is embracing

the main goal of Pinterest -- to focus on the concept of a person’s lifestyle and encouraging

users to share their tastes and interests with others and discover those of like-minded people.

in other words, by promoting the lifestyle its products promote, chobani is using its Pinterest

account to enable people to learn more about its brand beyond just its signature products.

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Yes, the vacuum cleaner brand. sure, oreck may be a more boring, industrial-type product (not

a brand you would typically think of following on a social media site), but then again, you haven’t

seen how clean its floors are.

WHAT THeY’re DoinG riGHT:

on its Pinterest page, oreck has taken its industrial cleaning product and made you forget that

a vacuum cleaner brand is behind the pinboards you’re looking at. for example, oreck has a

board just to feature pictures of beautiful flooring styles and layouts. its board “furry friends”

subtly points out one type of cleaning job its products help take care of without hitting you over

the head with it. After all, we’re all well aware that the hairy aftermath of your favorite pets isn’t

always the easiest thing to clean.

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Mashable is the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture,

social media, and technology. Pinterest currently has a pretty girly vibe, considering females

dominate its user base. but as this tech brand is proving, the overwhelmingly estrogen-charged

demographic of this social network could change quickly.

WHAT THeY’re DoinG riGHT:

Mashable will be ahead of the curve for when the male population finally gets on board with

Pinterest. Mashable’s Pinterest account showcases the gadgets and infographics the news

source is well known for reporting on, taking its immense amount of data and information and

making it more visual and shareable. This proves that if you are a data-driven company, you will

surely have something worthy of being shared on Pinterest.

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With more than 50,000 followers, this online shopping website is one of the

most popular on Pinterest.

WHAT THeY’re DoinG riGHT:

As a retailer of homemade and vintage goods, etsy creates pinboards that really take to heart

what its brand stands for. They show you how you can make your own products and how to put

their products to work in your daily life, which again, emphasizes the lifestyle philosophy that

Pinterest promotes.

not sure what to buy your love for

Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry, etsy

has all its pins organized to give

you tons of ideas. in other words,

giving your customers new ideas

for how they can use your products

will give them more reasons and

incentives to buy from you. When

using Pinterest, think outside the

box of how you’d typically use

social networks to market your

products and services.

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Drake is one of the few universities jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon, and at the same time,

they’re doing an unbelievably awesome job.

WHAT THeY’re DoinG riGHT:

Drake university showcases items

its student population might

actually be interested in: clothing

that matches the school’s colors,

room décor perfect for the dorm,

what kinds of food to make when

you run out of “bulldog bucks,”

study inspirations, fan experiences,

and even a board completely

devoted to its bulldog mascot.

obviously, Drake is following Pinterest’s lifestyle credo, making its boards specifically about

the school and student experience. if you are a potential student, you can learn everything you

need to know about the school with just a few quick glances. The takeaway here is to make

your Pinterest brand page personal for your fans. remind them why they love you (or should

love you)!

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General electric seems to be all about social media lately. They’re rocking it on instagram, and i

shouldn’t have been surprised to find out they’re dominating Pinterest as well.

WHAT THeY’re DoinG riGHT:

not only does Ge have

a board specifically

devoted to the

“badass machines”

the company works

with everyday, but it

also has an “archive”

board that gives a

visual history of the

company’s products

through the years.

They also have an amazing board where they’ve posted all the fan photos taken during their

#GeinspiredMe campaign, exemplifying a great use for Pinterest -- leveraging and featuring

user-generated content. All in all, as its description says, Ge is clearly devoted to “#Pinning

things that inspire us to build, power, move and cure the world.”

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Peapod is the largest grocery delivery service in the united states, and if you are having trouble

figuring out why, look no further than its Pinterest page.

WHAT THeY’re DoinG riGHT:

Peapod Pinterest page tells stories of

how the food gets to your office/home

and what sort of produce Peapod has in

stock this season. The company features

a behind-the-scenes board devoted just

to Peapod’s delivery trucks. showing the

cities it’s traveling through or watching

its signature green bins getting loaded

onto its trucks is a great way to give

customers an inside look into a business

that, on the outside, may not seem so


even if your company isn’t exactly devoted to ‘pretty things,’ it doesn’t mean you can’t be on

Pinterest. it just means you have to get creative about showing off your brand in an interesting

and unique way. You can do this by showcasing some behind-the-scenes content that shows

the people behind your brand, injecting some personality into your business and make it easy to

relate to.

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how to use pinterest for business



& addITIONal


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how to use pinterest for business


Succeeding on Pinterest is

about finding how your products

or services fit into the lifestyles

of your target audience.

As you can tell, the trick to succeeding on Pinterest isn’t necessarily about showing off your

products or services directly. it’s about finding creative ways to show how those products

and services fit into the lifestyles of your target audience. find ways to do that, and you’ll

have what you need to pop on Pinterest just like the brands we have discussed in this

ebook do.

Take the best practices we have shared here and start pinning content that represents

your company identity and attracts visitors back to your website. Lastly, don’t invest a ton

of effort in marketing on Pinterest unless you can measure the results of your activities. be

smart about the way you prioritize your marketing initiatives and keep a close eye on the

specific benefits this new social network can provide to your business.

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how to use pinterest for business


aBOUT US is a network that exists to incentivize and reward

other like-minded web professionals for spreading awareness

about agile business strategies. We believe in working smarter

- not harder. by uniting top forward-thinking professionals, we

can educate startups and create a movement that can change

the world together.

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